(Health Secrets) Do you suffer from food or seasonal allergies? Instead of reaching for Claritin or Benadryl, recent studies have shown that help may be as close as a box of Japanese noodles made from the root of the Konjac plant. Researchers are discovering that Konjac can alleviate symptoms of allergies, rhinitis and other IgE mediated allergic responses.
The active component of Konjac is glucomannan, a water-soluble polysaccharide that is considered a dietary fiber. There is already evidence that glucomannon is effective against constipation, acne, obesity, cholesterol normalization, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes.
One study focused the positive effects of glucomannan in modulating immune response to allergens. In a special strain of mice, bred to be susceptible to atopic dermatitis, it was noted that feeding these mice Konjac glucomannan prevented the development of eczematous lesions and hyper IgE production. Excessive production of substance P and proinflammatory cytokines were also impaired.
These finding indicate that dietary intake of glucomannon may benefit allergies although the mechanism is not yet understood.
IgE is one of a multitude of immunoglobulins produced by the body as part of your immune system. Allergies occur when the immune system gets confused between something harmless and something toxic, and goes into overdrive to protect the body from something it doesn’t need protection from. About 50% of patients who have allergies, including seasonal allergies, have elevated levels of IgE in their blood serum that arise from the body’s hyper response.
Substance P is a neurotransmitter related to the sensation of pain. It has been implicated in pain syndrome such as low back pain.
Another study involved mice inbred to be immuno-compromised. These mice were fed either a standard diet (control) or a glucomannon enriched diet for 8 weeks in a controlled environment. The mice were immunized twice with egg white protein, a potent allergen that stimulates airway hyper responsiveness. The number of their sneezes in a 5 minute period was recorded. The mice on the standard diet reacted with significant sneezing worsening, while sneezing in the group receiving glucomannon was markedly inhibited.
Twelve hours later, blood samples were drawn from all mice and analyzed. The mice receiving the glucomannon diet showed a significant inhibition of IgE, and an unmistakable beneficial effect on reduction of IgE allergy symptoms.
It has also been shown that glucomannon allows for the proliferation in the gut of bifidobacteria, friendly bacteria which have been shown to be decreased in cecal and fecal samples of individuals with allergies. Besides this prebiotic activity, there is the possibility that glucomannon has a direct effect on the gut immune system.
The Japanese noodles that contain glucomannon are the shirataki variety, often found in sukiyaki or oden. Konjac root is available in supplement form, as is its constituent glucomannon.
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Published with permission from Alignlife. Original article link is here.